The Buccaneers downward spiral continued Thursday night in their 27-22 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Not only was it a loss in the win-loss column, but the Buccaneers also lost another Pro Bowl player on defense as linebacker Shaq Barrett tore his Achilles and is out for the season.
After the game, Brady sat in his locker for the longest time, still in uniform, just contemplating why it has all gone south so quickly for the Buccaneer’s offense this season.
This is the first time Brady has started a season 3-5 in his career. The Bucs are currently on a three-game losing streak, and it looks as if Brady and these wide receivers have never hit the practice field together or played in a game.
Buccaneers Start Was Great
For a minute there, I thought the Bucs had figured things out. The first half was one of the better halves of football we have seen from this football team in the last month.
The Buccaneers’ defense kept Lamar Jackson and Raven’s run game grounded in the first half. They were also able to apply pressure on Jackson, getting three sacks and limiting his ability to make big plays.
The Bucs’ defense held the Ravens to 27 yards rushing in the first half.
Offensively they were able to move the ball in the first half against the Baltimore defense. Despite the running game inefficiencies, the Buccaneers scored ten points, including a touchdown in the first quarter.
It was the first time all season the Buccaneers scored a touchdown in the first quarter.
Buccaneers Fall Apart in Second Half
The second half saw the Bucs fall apart defensively, and the bad habits reemerged as the Ravens controlled play in the second half with 204 yards rushing.
The Buccaneers offense could not stay on the field, and the defense ran out of gas in the second half. The Ravens took control of the game as Lamar Jackson got the passing game going, offset by the powerful running game.
The Ravens finished the game with 453 yards of offense, the most yards the Buccaneers defense has given up this season.
After the Carolina loss, Todd Bowles said last week that the Bucs were in a dark place. Well, that place got a bit darker after the loss on Thursday, and Bowles said that changes on the coaching staff could be coming.
“We’re going to talk about everything this weekend. When you’re not playing well, everything is on the table for us, and we’ll discuss that as a staff.”
The run game continued to regress as the Buccaneers were only abler to run for 44 yards and average 2.9 yards per carry. Leonard Fournette’s struggles continued as he ran for just 24 yards on nine carries.
The pass blocking was not a significant issue, even though you will see three sacks of Brady. Nick Leverett filling in for Luke Goedeke at left guard was an upgrade, although the offensive line as a unit struggled with the run blocking.
Tom Brady Continues To Put Up Decent Numbers
Tom Brady continues to put up decent numbers. Still, I have never seen more passes batted down, receivers overthrown, and overall just playing with a lack of emotion than I did with Brady Thursday Night.
Brady finished the night 26/44 for 325 yards and one touchdown.
When Brady spoke to the media after the game, it was the same song and dance we had heard the past month after another abysmal offensive performance.
“Ultimately, it comes down to how we execute in critical moments and things we have to do to win,” Brady said. I think we’re going to try to figure out everything.”
This is just a reminder that Brady is 45, and we may be witnessing diminishing skills right before our eyes. Just a reminder that father time is undefeated and always will be.
Time is of the essence to get things turned around. The calendar is turning to November. The Bucs are 3-5 after eight weeks. And every week, that hole gets a bit deeper to dig themselves out of.
The Buccaneers have ten days off before their next game against the Los Angeles Rams. There is a lot of soul-searching that needs to happen this weekend. Every player and coach needs to look in the mirror and ask themselves what they are doing to help this team get better.
From the game planning to the play calling to the execution of those plays by the players, there is not one area of this team that I can say does not need to be improved. (Ryan Succop excluded).
The remaining schedule has the Rams, Seahawks, Falcons, Saints, Bengals, 49ers, Cardinals, Browns, and Panthers.
It’s hard to look at that schedule and say with any confidence the Buccaneers can win five of those games to finish at 9-8.
Could it be that this Buccaneers team could go winless the rest of the season? From what we have seen on the field, it certainly is possible. And that would be one of the most epic Falls from Grace we have seen in the modern era.